The news took longer than expected to be confirmed by the Lions, but the team announced today that offensive line coach Jim Colletto would be the new offensive coordinator, replacing Mike Martz. Here is the press release:
"Jim is an excellent football coach. He knows what it takes to win in this League and I am confident that he will do a tremendous job leading our offense," Marinelli said. "His appointment also allows us to maintain continuity in our offense, which is important to our players."
Marinelli also announced the promotion of Kippy Brown to assistant head coach/passing game coordinator.
Additionally, Shawn Jefferson was promoted to wide receivers coach. Fred Reed, defensive assistant from 2006-07, will not return in 2008.
To read up on Colletto's background, click here.
Personally, I'm not sold on this move at all. I know Rod Marinelli likes that the current offensive system will remain the same and the philosophy will be the only thing really changing, but change can be a good thing. Frequent change isn't good, and unfortunately the Lions have had to go through change often, but in this case, just promoting from within doesn't seem like the best idea.
I'll give Colletto this coming season to show me what he's got, but I'm afraid the offense isn't even the biggest concern for the Lions. Giving up 50+ points on multiple occasions should never happen in the NFL, yet with this Lions "D" it did twice. I saw great improvement in some games when it came to the defense, but the negatives outweighed anything good far too much. Unfortunately, nothing will be changed about who the defensive coordinator is considering Joe Barry is Marinelli's son-in-law.
When it comes down to it, I'm not going to completely bash Colletto until he is given a chance to prove himself, but if the play of the offensive line this past season is any indication, it won't take long for the criticism to start rolling in. At the same time, I think hiring someone from the outside would have been a much better idea, especially with Cam Cameron available, but for the Lions a move like that would make too much sense I guess, and for Matt Millen and company, doing that is against their religion.